Food Blogging Is Weird

>> Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sometimes having a food blog leads to meal creation burnout. As in, the incessant need to create new + different recipes . . . all the time . . . can make you want to order 3 meals of takeout/day for a solid month. Not that I would/could do that. And I suppose the pressure is self-imposed -- at least the blogging about it part.

I love cooking and baking. A ton. This much is true.

It's a skill and hobby I picked up in my early 20s and now feel thankful for sticking with all these years. I mean, I still have friends who don't know how to mince garlic, if you'll believe it. My kitchen skills are amateur = I have no proper training (blogging has actually helped quite a bit in this regard -- reasons to learn more!), but knowing the basics of how to cut + combine certain ingredients to make something not only edible, but also tasty has proven invaluable.

And yet I happily fall into food ruts and could easily eat the same dinner for like 14 nights straight. Well, I will admit that THAT is definitely an exaggeration, but I'm pretty sure we ate grilled Pizza -- which I, for some odd reason, just typed with a capital P -- for almost two weeks in a row last summer.

So, to generate food content, this conversation often happens:

"I want such-and-such again for dinner," Stephen says, his hungry eyes fixed on the pantry.
"Me too. But I need a post for tomorrow!" I quip back, elbows deep in the refrigerator.
"What's something we can make with, uhhhh, ginger and, errrrrrr, green beans?"

My mind races for possibilities that can be cooked + photographed before sundown. And that's how a lot, but certainly not all, of my recipes start. Unfortunately, the divine don't speak through me in culinary masterpieces. I also don't have 5,000 organic grocers nearby and my pick of the most diverse ingredients. (Though Wegmans is lovely!) Time. Yeah. Time is hard (for all of us), too.

Some of the best (and my favorite) meals are the least blog-worthy, am I right? Like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I'm not talking a Pinterest-worthy charcoal grilled PB+J made with stone-ground peanut butter and backyard farm-harvested berry jam stuffed with vegan hand-crafted marshmallows shaped like bunnies for the kids. Just some JIF and Welch's with slices apples on the side.

A tomato mozzarella salad.

I used to cook almost all weekend for fun. Champagne afternoons, I'd call them, were always Sundays and I'd get a $4 bottle of Andre and mess up the entire house with my experiments. I also used to blog twice a day -- have you read here that long? Mostly recipes each time. While I was working a 40-hour-a-week desk job. Crazy much? I'd go to work and come home and cook the entire night. At the time, I think I know I used it as a release from the stress.

This has changed obviously. But I actually miss those uninterrupted chunks of cooking time. I'm thinking of having a Champagne Afternoon for Mother's Day as a treat for myself. Any drink suggestions?

What else? Well, sometimes I feel like a bad blogger not keeping up with all the latest food trends and interesting ingredients. The latest methods and weird/interesting mashups. I am sure, too, that many recipe writers (is that a real title?) are much more organized than I am. Or just better at hiding their creative frenzy. Or just better at life in general.

This all is a long-winded way of writing that food blogging is super strange-land. I even feel like I should put a "Part 1" in the title because I didn't even touch on the photography part. Anyway: I am continually striving to find a balance between insane + ridiculous and boring + bland now that I have another little mouth to feed. Especially when that little mouth decides every other day that she hates what she once loved implicitly.

And I also suppose I'd love some inspiration. I can't steep myself quite like I used to, so I'd love to know what you're digging these days. What are your favorite ingredients? What are your favorite unpretentious sandwiches?

Oh, and I'll have some great recipes for you this week. Ones I didn't have to dig around in the bellows of my fridge for. Does soup sound good? I hope so!

Are you a food blogger? Do you agree that it can be just plain weird making new recipe after new recipe? I think I'd like to simplify things, just figuring out where to start.

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